Worst Food and Drinks for Your Teeth

Worst Food and Drinks for Your Teeth

by Holly (SU)

You’ve probably heard of people avoiding certain foods because they are unhealthy. However, you probably haven’t heard of many people doing so because the food is unhealthy for their teeth.

Oral health is often neglected – even by people who live fairly healthy lifestyles. Your adult teeth are the only set of natural teeth you will have for the rest of your life; it’s important to take care of them. Because the foods you eat can affect your oral health, it’s important to know which foods to avoid if you want to keep your pearly whites healthy and strong.

Below are some examples of food and drinks that are bad for your teeth, for a variety of reasons. A few of these may surprise you.

Citrus – Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit are healthy and delicious. However, because they are acidic, they can harm your teeth. The acidity erodes enamel, which ends up making your teeth weaker, and can also irritate any sores in your mouth.

Anything Sticky – Sticky foods like candies and dried fruit are tasty treats, but they are not very friendly to your teeth. Foods that are gummy or adhere to your teeth are harder to break down while chewing and tend to get stuck in areas between your teeth. It can be difficult to remove all of it from your teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.   

Popcorn – Popcorn is a great snack to munch on at the movies or while watching television with the family. Although it’s considered a fairly healthy snack, it isn’t very good for your teeth. Pieces of popcorn can get trapped in your teeth and are difficult to remove. The trapped bits can accelerate tooth decay and a corresponding suite of oral health issues. 

Tomatoes – Tomatoes are a great addition to any dish and are really good for your health. However, similar to the problems with citrus, tomatoes have high level of acidity, which erodes tooth enamel.  

Berries, beets, and curry – These colorful foods are very healthy for you and taste delicious. However, berries, beets, and curry have strong pigments and can easily stain the teeth, which can be very difficult to remove over time without professional help.

Ice – Ice itself is not bad for the teeth, but chewing ice is not so good. It damages the enamel and can cause chipping, cracking, and the breaking of teeth. It can also loosen crowns.

Soft Drinks – Sodas such as Coca-Cola are just as unhealthy for your teeth as they are for your health. The caffeinated beverages dry out the mouth and the high sugar content promotes cavities.

Energy Drinks – Similar to soft drinks, energy drinks have a high sugar content that helps cavities grow and flourish. In addition, energy drinks are erosive to the enamel, making your teeth weaker and more susceptible to problems down the road.

Alcohol – Alcohol has dehydrating properties that dry out the mouth. When the mouth is dry – or when there is an inadequate amount of saliva – it does far more damage to your teeth than you may think. Saliva helps wash away food particles, sugar, and bacteria present in plaque. A dry mouth increases the likelihood all of this remains in the mouth, increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

Coffee – Most people think that coffee is good for you, but it’s important to consider the damage it does to your teeth. Its acidity wears down enamel while other properties stain the teeth. Additionally, if you add sugar to your coffee, you run a higher risk of tooth decay.

Taking care of your oral health is just as important as taking care of your overall bodily health. Make sure you ask your dentist about other foods that you should be careful about if oral health is a priority for you.

Are you looking for a patient-focused dentist to help with your oral care? Dr. Ari Binder and the entire team at 360 Dental are happy to help. Call (541) 689-1645 today to make an appointment.